investor-state disputes | ISDS

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) refers to a way of handling conflicts under international investment agreements whereby companies from one party are allowed to sue the government of another party. This means they can file a complaint and seek compensation for damages. Many BITs and investment chapters of FTAs allow for this if the investor’s expectation of a profit has been negatively affected by some action that the host government took, such as changing a policy. The dispute is normally handled not in a public court but through a private abritration panel. The usual venues where these proceedings take place are the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (World Bank), the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law or the International Court of Justice.

ISDS is a hot topic right now because it is being challenged very strongly by concerned citizens in the context of the EU-US TTIP negotiations, the TransPacific Partnership talks and the CETA deal between Canada and the EU.

Reuters | 13-Nov-2013
Ecuador’s highest court upheld a verdict that US oil company Chevron Corp is responsible for pollution in an Amazon rainforest, but halved the fine imposed in a previous trial to $9.5 billion, a decision the company dismissed as illegitimate.
| 12-Nov-2013
Tthe Harper government recently committed Canada to ratify the ICSID Convention.
| 10-Nov-2013
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), in Washington, DC, will hear a case by Israeli investors seeking more than 100 billion forints (EUR 337m) in damages from the state of Hungary because of a failed casino investment, daily Magyar Nemzet said on its website on Saturday.
| 9-Nov-2013
Since announcing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) two weeks ago Harper’s Conservatives have repeatedly labelled those questioning the deal as “anti-trade”. But this Canada-European Union accord is one part trade and four parts ‘corporate bill of rights’.
| 8-Nov-2013
The federal government, which is facing financial crisis and seeking loans from IMF and other financial institutes, is willing to pay Rs90 million to a Pakistani law firm to plead its case in an international court.
| 3-Nov-2013
Argentina has agreed to settle five separate investment treaty arbitration claims at a cost of around USD 500 million, in an historic departure from the Latin American state’s refusal to comply with awards made by international investment treaty arbitration bodies.
| 3-Nov-2013
Canada has confirmed its ratification of the World Bank’s ICSID Convention by depositing its “Instrument of Ratification” with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Nov. 1, 2013.
| 2-Nov-2013
Pakistan has landed in hot waters following the provisional decision of ICSID (international court for settlement of investment disputes) announced on October 16 which says that government of Pakistan should allow the Karkey’s vessel based power generation unit to move from Karachi port, as Supreme Court’s verdict is quite vivid that says that unless and until Karkey gives $ 128 million to Pakistan it cannot be allowed to leave the port, Pakistan Observer has learnt reliably.
tralac | 2-Nov-2013
Proposed legal framework to replace previous BITs
| 31-Oct-2013
1st of November 2013 is an important date if one wants to get rid of this outdated treaty which poses growing risk to policy making in the public interest

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